Performance Practice

Mara Galassi / Armin Linke

The Barberini Harp
Before and After Restoration

Mara Galassi and Armin Linke photographed the Barberini Harp at the Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali in Roma, thirty years apart, before and after its restoration. In this period, the museum has undergone renovations and the harp is now displayed under more controlled conditions. This double photo story can be placed on the arc of our transition from analogue to digital technologies, echoing Harfenlabor's dual existence.

May 26, 2022
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Bernhard Schrammek

Report on the Convening in Roma
14-16 December 2016

Bernhard Schrammek's report offers a concise account of Harfenlabor's interdisciplinary international symposium Convening around the Barberini Harp Project, which took place on 14-16 December 2016, in Roma, in collaboration with the Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali, Istituto Storico Austriaco a Roma, and the Deutsche Botschaft Rom, bringing together musicologists, harpists, harp and string makers, and art historians.

May 19, 2022
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Chiara Granata / Dario Pontiggia

What We Know, and What We still Do Not Understand about the Barberini Harp

Chiara Granata and Dario Pontiggia present findings and analysis related to new facts about the Barberini Harp. By integrating technical and historical research, they offer facts as well as open questions about this sumptuous musical instrument and its contexts. Unlike the other analyses presented by Harfenlabor, Granata and Pontiggia posit that Giovanni Lanfranco's painting Venus Playing the Harp does not depict the Barberini Harp.

May 18, 2022
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Joachim Steinheuer

The Harp in Intermedi and Early Opera

Joachim Steinheuer provides rich overview of the different uses of harps in the intermedi, madrigals and early opera and its relation to the mythological figures of Apollo, Orpheus and Arion. Through intriguing comparisons of the musical and iconographic sources, the harp appears as an ensemble instrument, as the main continuo, and as a solo instrument, and in some unusual accompaniment combinations.

May 15, 2022
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Eric Kleinmann

Practical Examination of the Barberini Harp

Eric Kleinmann shares findings of decades-long research into and practical examinations of the Barberini Harp as part of his work on building reproductions of this famous Baroque harp. Harfenlabor commissioned Kleinmann to build a small-scale model of the top of the harp for experiments with stringing, and present analysis of changes made to the harp, and other aspects pertinent to building a copy.

May 15, 2022
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Mara Galassi / Dario Pontiggia

About the Barberini Harp

Harpist and researcher Mara Galassi and master luthier Dario Pontiggia discuss some of the finer points of making copies of historical harps, in particular, of the pros and cons of building a true copy of the Barberini Harp. As a luthier, Pontiggia believes he ought to “correct the mistakes" on the Barberini. As a performer, Galassi believes a true copy would offer valuable insights into the musical perspective of the period.

May 12, 2022
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Chiara Granata

“My Hands are Armed with Nought but Sweet-toned Strings?" Different Ways to Use the Same Instrument

Chiara Granata argues for keeping open the tension between the opposite viewpoints expressed by Dario Pontiggia and Mara Galassi in About the Barberini Harp on the need for a true copy of the Barberini Harp. Granata presents a variety of performance situations and argues that the harp had a varied use: the contradictions preserved in an absolute copy would allow for diverse solutions.

May 8, 2022
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Anne Marie Dragosits / Michele Pasotti

Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger

In this Harfenlabor online zoom lecture, Anne Marie Dragosits, harpsichordist, brings “New information on Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger - with special focus on his material for the basso continuo”; Michele Pasotti, lutenist, conducts close reading and analyses of manuscripts and transcripts in “Passaggi per suonare sopra la parte. Kapsperger and other 17th century Italian sources for basso continuo on the theorbo.”

May 4, 2022
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Michele Pasotti

A Door to Medieval Music

Michele Pasotti, musician, lutenist, conductor, researcher and philosopher shares fascinating insights into his musical passion, the “medieval music,” in particular the musical style known as Ars subtilior. Thrilled by the refinement, elegance and complexity of this music, moved by its dulcedo and sensuality, Pasotti shares his discoveries of the layers of subtle information between the lines in the manuscripts of the period.

May 3, 2022
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Ottavio Dantone

Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo : Speaking in Song

Ottavio Dantone shares his insights into the modernity of Monteverdi's musical language in this interview and demonstrates recitar cantando, accompanying himself on the harpsichord, through some of the key moments in Claudio Monteverdi´s masterpiece L'Orfeo. The interview took place in the Teatro Comunale di Ferrara where Dantone conducted L'Orfeo, staged for performance conditions similar to those in which the opera would have been performed in the 17th century.

May 2, 2022
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